From futsal to football
Defender Max Kilman was a regular for England’s national futsal team before signing as a professional with Wolverhampton Wanderers in August 2018.
And with over 20 caps to his name for the England futsal team, the 22-year-old shared with FA.Com how the game helped him to develop his technique, understanding and tactical awareness in football before his move into the professional game:
“I first discovered the game of futsal when I was around 14 or 15-years-old. I was just in my local park at the time when I saw two people playing. I asked them if I could join in and they explained they were playing futsal.
“They were a bit older than me but they invited me down to a session with London Genesis. It was a bit of a drive over to east London so I went with my father, but it was worth it.
“I just really enjoyed myself and kept going back every week as I gradually grew into it with playing more and more futsal.
“It’s the speed of the game that I love and you always have to attack the goal and defend the goal. It’s so intense and everything is happening really quickly and it’s so sharp.
“At the time, I was also playing football for Fulham’s academy and then I was at Gillingham after that, but I always tried to keep futsal going as much as possible out of the enjoyment I got from it.
“Nowadays, more and more football clubs are introducing futsal for their younger players, which is great. When you look at countries like Spain, Portugal and Brazil, their kids start to play futsal around the age of six or lower. Then, when they get to 13 or 14 they decide if they want to stick with futsal or move to football, but they’re coming into football at that age with the ability to be good on the ball.
“And futsal definitely helped my football, especially when I was about 15 or 16. For example, before futsal, I used to be a bit nervous getting the ball from a throw-in but futsal helped me feel more aware, make a quicker decision and see the bigger picture.
“A lot of people say futsal improves you technically, but for me I found that it helped more on the tactical side as well. It makes you smarter, more aware and quicker in what you do and you’re thinking more during the game.”